Headless Commerce: The Evolution of Selling Online (2021)

At first, there was one way for customers to shop: in a store or on the market. E-commerce is a new way to shop. This has happened since 2000. This was not a way to expand the store but a new channel to sell through. Many retailers refer to their website as their “online store.” In reality, they had both a physical store and an online one.

Many had one e-commerce warehouse which shipped all orders. These supply chains treated the warehouse like a separate “store,” often referring to it as an actual store, such as “store 100”.

Ecommerce platforms were created to support the new channel in the mid-2000s. Shopify, Magento, and Demandware were all created at that time. To sell more online, merchants built or purchased e-commerce platforms.

These platforms were a one-stop shop that enabled merchants to upload products, create online categories, and offer discounts and promotions. They also managed the on-site searches, sent customers through online checkouts, and more. Each channel was managed by completely different technology and organizational teams.

What Is Headless Commerce?

In a headless eCommerce website, unlike traditional eCommerce sites where the backend and frontend are interdependent and connected, the frontend is independent and operates independently. They communicate only through APIs. Headless commerce lets developers make changes to the frontend without affecting the backend. A headless commerce platform removes all IT dependence, allowing front-end and back-end developers to manage their respective ends and enforce customer-friendly changes efficiently.

Customers today access your online store via various devices, including desktops, smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other connected devices. These mediums will continue to grow in the future. Headless commerce makes it possible to meet such customer needs as well as their changing buying preferences.

A traditional eCommerce system would require that any changes to the frontend be made in the backend. In a headless eCommerce model, however, developers can modify the frontend and publish the changes without updating the backend. You can also integrate infrastructure points such as ERPs, OMSs, and PIMs to the backend to enhance user experience. The frontend and backend can be connected seamlessly as long as they call the correct code.

A headless commerce platform removes the frontend (commonly known as the head), leaving only the backend. Developers can use APIs for code, blogs, and customer reviews on any screen or device. Frontend developers can then represent the product in any framework they choose.

Enterprises can take a more relaxed approach to create a memorable experience for their customers, as user interfaces, social commerce, and digital marketplaces no longer have to be governed by a fixed frontend. Based on user traction, they can choose and customize features and functionalities. Developers have complete freedom to design and code for any screen. This allows them to create best-in-class retail experiences without any restrictions.

3 Major Commerce For Structuring Commerce

We’ve gathered the 3 major commerce for the structuring commerce that’ll help you know better about the term.

Monolithic

This is where e-commerce started, in the days when hardware and software were inextricably linked. You must use IBM software if you purchase IBM hardware. This model has been a basis for industry evolution.

Commerce-led

This strategy utilizes a commerce platform front end for UX/checkout but APIs to orchestrate data across a more robust infrastructure.

Many businesses then implement an OMS, PIM, ERP, or ERP for product information management, accounting, customer integration, and inventory management across all channels.

This model is often used by businesses that use SaaS and open-source technologies.

Experience-led

This strategy separates the e-commerce platform and the presentation layer. Businesses can use popular CMS’s like WordPress, DXP (digital experience platforms) like Drupal, or custom front-end solutions to create unique experiences that enhance brand value perception and drive customers to checkout.

In this model, the e-commerce platform provides PCI compliance and inventory management — and can be connected to additional systems like ERPs, PIMs, or OMS tools via APIs.

What’s The Difference Between Headless Commerce And Traditional Commerce?

Traditional commerce

  • While you might think it would be easy to design websites using a standard platform, the truth is that this is not the case. When coding websites with traditional commerce, developers face many constraints. You will need to spend a lot of time editing the code and model data to change any functionality. They might need to repeat the lengthy process to upgrade to newer versions.
  • These websites offer a pre-defined user experience, which is often difficult to customize for each visitor. These platforms are not customizable or personalization-friendly. If you are happy to offer this type of experience as a brand, then do so. Otherwise, opt for headless commerce.

Headless commerce

  • Developers can create a user interface from scratch once the front end has been removed. This will allow them to align their core business values. Developers have the freedom to modify the databases on the backend from the frontend. All they need is an API call. Developers are exempt from limitations that were imposed during traditional commerce development.
  • Headless commerce has its downsides. Marketers must build all pages from scratch, including landing pages and product pages. It is, therefore, more difficult to develop an eCommerce website design. Developers prefer the decoupled solution over the headless commerce one.
  • Headless commerce platforms are quite different from traditional commerce. Traditional commerce has a defined architecture that ensures a positive user experience. Headless eCommerce platforms have no frontend, so developers can create whatever experience they want. These prospects also give developers greater control over the eCommerce platform’s look and feel and, by extension, allow them to have authority over both admin users and consumers.

What Are The Benefits Of Headless Commerce?

There are multiple benefits of headless commerce that you need to know about, so hence I’ve compiled the list you can look upon:-

Familiarity And Flexibility For Developers

Headless commerce allows brands to select the best e-commerce platform for their online store and work with the front end of choice (e.g., CMS, DXP, or custom).

BigCommerce makes it easy for developers to create headless solutions. It also makes it easier for merchants to discover them and help them onboard them. This allows merchants to manage headless storefronts from their BigCommerce control panel. It reduces technical requirements and saves developer resources. You can learn more about how it works here.

Headless is a way for developers to retain the technology and programming languages they are comfortable with. It allows them to streamline their workflow, improve efficiency, and keep their favorite technologies.

Advances Technologies For The Creation Of Fast Websites

Brands can use headless environments to test new technology. Developers are free to create whatever they want instead of being restricted by a traditional CMS.

The template or theme that customers see is called the frontend, or the ‘head’ on most e-commerce websites. Headless gives you more control over content delivery. You can connect a CMS or DXP or Internet of Things device (IoT) specifically designed to create content- or experience-driven commerce. The front end can be swapped out without affecting backend operations.

At BigCommerce, the GraphQL Storefront API makes it possible to query storefront data within a Stencil theme or remote site. This means information previously only available on the backend via Stencil’s template logic can now be accessed via front-end JavaScript.

An e-commerce platform that is headless stores content and can deliver it anywhere via API. This allows for faster delivery than traditional platforms and provides a better customer experience.

Entire Ownership Over Architectural Sites

Headless allows for some parts of the system to be decoupled (the backend and the frontend). Headless platforms allow for more control by separating the content management and delivery applications environments.

Brands often turn headless because they have a frontend solution that they are happy with and need more from the backend.

For example, if they are on WooCommerce, they may have outgrown the e-commerce functionality but want to keep their WordPress site. If they wanted to sell their first product and were using Drupal for their content-driven website, they would have to find a way of connecting it to a commerce engine. Headless allows them to keep what works and upgrade or add what doesn’t.

Final Verdict

If you are running an online business, getting headless commerce that will skyrocket your eCommerce journey is essential. I have shared this detailed post in the review upon head list commerce along with a brief guide that will help you know better about it.

So make sure to go through it to maximize the true knowledge about the norm.

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